Working in a hospital, I’m never that far from a copy of the Sunday Mail and, lurking inside it, these words. These past few weeks, I’ve been overwhelmed by all the nice things that you and your families have said about this wee column. I just want to say thank you – your feedback makes doing it all the more fun and rewarding. If you’ve got any thoughts on how we can make it better, please tweet me. Or if you’re a little more traditional (and I love traditional), send a letter.
I’ve had some brilliant suggestions over the last couple of years – as soon as one lady said I should add gas marks as well as Celsius, every subsequent recipe had it. And yes, that Madeira cake recipe does taste just like that Madeira cake. In recognition of you, the committed reader, here’s a recipe to get someone else to bake for you. Whether that be a hopeless spouse or a novice child, just sit back, shout some orders and insist they do the washing up, too.
First, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper (non-stick greaseproof paper) – no need to grease it.
Flour a clean work surface, turn your puff pastry out onto it, and flour over the top. Gently roll your puff out until it’s the exact thickness of a £1 coin, and roughly rectangle. Use extra flour and keep moving it about to stop it sticking.
Trim round the edges, so you’ve got a pretty perfect rectangle (you can save the excess for puff pastry jam tarts). You should now prepare your pecans by chopping them into lumps as small as you can be bothered – the smaller, the easier it make rolling it up.
Melt your butter in a bowl in the microwave. Brush it onto your rectangle evenly – it might seem like quite a lot of butter. Butter is good.
Measure your sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl and combine them. Sprinkle this evenly on top of your sugared puff pastry, followed by your chopped pecans.
Carefully, roll your pecan-coated puff pastry up just like a Swiss roll. Try to keep it as tight as possible. If the last bit won’t stick, use a bit more melted butter to hold it.
Use a sharp knife to cut your raw roll into 1cm thick discs, and place these on your baking tray. Bake them all for 25-35 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Leave them to cool before enjoying, or you might suffer a nasty sugar-scald.